Vasiliev, Professor L L - Experiments in mental suggestion – Experiments with Subject: Fedorova. Sender: Vasiliev. Observer: Tomashevsky
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Described in Experiments in mental suggestion – Professor L L Vasiliev
Experiment of 20/4/1934. The subject, Fedorova, arrived at the laboratory at 9:30, and she was led to room A for a rest. Prof. Vasiliev then went into the round room B (see Figs. 18 and 22 and legends) where he was joined by Tomashevsky who had previously been with the subject. In the discussion of the programme for the experiment the following plan was made: the subject was to be put into chamber No. 1 which was in room B and Tomashevsky was to remain with her as observer. Vasiliev, who had never before sent the subject to sleep, either mentally or verbally, would pretend to leave the laboratory but would in fact go to the distant room A where he would begin mental suggestion at a moment unknown to the observer (Tomashevsky).
This plan was put into effect. At 9:55 the subject was led out of room A into room B and entered the chamber together with Tomashevsky. Vasiliev staged his exit from the laboratory and went into the distant room A. The observer questioned the subject during the entire time of the experiment, entering his questions and her answers in his report. At 9:58 the sender (Vasiliev) began mental suggestion to go to sleep. At 10 o'clock the subject went into hypnosis.
Subject: No more is necessary.
Observer: Who put you to sleep?
Subject: You. To-day he is good at putting to sleep.
Observer: Who put you to sleep?
Observer: What else comes to mind?
Subject: Vasiliev is creeping into my head-he came into my mind and now he is creeping into my head.
At 10:18 an idea came to Vasiliev to suggest to the subject the image a bird which he visualised as a condor or a griffin. At approximately the same time the observer put the following question:
Observer: Tell me what comes into your head.
Subject: He shows well. . . .
Observer: Who is he?
Subject: Vasiliev. His eyes bulge. . . .
Immediately after that:
Subject: A cock-now I see it, he is sitting at a table, a round one. (The agent was actually sitting at a round table.) It was he who took everything from me-
Observer: Who hypnotised you?
Subject: He did it-he paralysed me.
At 10:35 the sender enters the room of the subject and goes into screening chamber No. 2 (Fig.22). At 10:40 he begins mentally to wake up the subject.
Subject: Stay there for a bit. He is winding up the reel. Enough of it. Professor Vasiliev, stop it!-I shall have to wake up-I don’t want to-well, enough-
Subject: I am fed up with it-Vasiliev is there (points in the direction of the screening chamber)-how he is straining himself!-poor thing! I did hear him
At 10:43 the subject wakes up. At 10:43. the sender proceeds with a second set of suggestions to go to sleep, immediately following the waking up (contrary to usual procedure).
Subject: Something is wrong-
At 10:46 she falls asleep.
It seems to me that the most essential points in this experiment are that the subject not only recognised the sender in spite of the fact that in the two years of their acquaintance he never attempted to send her to sleep, and also that during the entire course of the experiment the subject accurately described the sender’s behaviour and surroundings.
These phenomena could either be explained by an ability of the percipient to recognise the sender from a perception of the quality of the energetic influence, or else from an ability to perceive the contents of the subconscious realm of the observer, although in the given case he was at that time far from consciously suggesting anything to her, being fully occupied in questioning her and writing up his report. If the second alternative is correct, we are here dealing with the phenomenon studied in detail especially by French authors, known as "thought reading" (lecture de pensee-Osty and others).